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Sphere announces Target as anchor

As New Scotland town officials consider an extension of the moratorium on commercial development, representatives from Syracuse-based Sphere Development LLC tell The Spotlight that they need an estimated 137,000 square foot Target retail outlet to develop the 179-acre plot formerly the Bender melon farm.

Greg Widrick, a managing partner at Sphere Development LLC said, "We need Target to make it a viable development site."

New Scotland currently has a moratorium on commercial development on buildings over 30,000 square feet. Until an extension is formally made, the moratorium ends Nov. 21.

Town officials say an extension is necessary so they can have more time for public input and to work out details in zoning law language.

The Commercial Zone Advisory Committee is attempting to bring zoning laws up to speed with the comprehensive plan, and talks about a cap on the limit of commercially developed buildings has been at the crux of the discussions to change the zoning laws.

CZAC chair Roz Robinson said that while they are having trouble deciding on an appropriate cap for the size of commercial developments, but this is not the primary reason for a potential extension.

A public workshop is scheduled for Sept. 17, Robinson said, and officials say the moratorium extension could be two or three months.

Widrick said Sphere understands the precautionary move to propose and draft and extension to the moratorium beyond the deadline.

"We're trying to work with the public to come to a solution to this thing," he said.

Widrick did say, though, that Sphere would be severely limited by a building cap, and in order to "viably" develop the site, they need a building that will far exceed the discussed 50,000 to 60,000 square feet, and Target exceeds that number.

A final plan will need to be reviewed by Albany County and the town board, and Robison said and that could take 30 to 90 days.

--Dan Sabbatino

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